HomeBlog How Stopping Saturday Mail Delivery Impacts Your Sales Reps

How Stopping Saturday Mail Delivery Impacts Your Sales Reps

March 22, 2013 | By Edge Coble

Just one generation ago, business communication was far simpler. There was postal mail, inter-office mail and voice mail. The first office I worked in didn’t even have voicemail. Little pink “While you were out” slips filled my cubby, which also doubled as a repository for internal memos and outside mail.

The United States Postal Service recently announced that, effective August 10 of this year, Saturday mail delivery will be discontinued. Of course, this will not diminish the amount of junk mail I receive, only the day that it is delivered. When I read the news online, what I found interesting is that not all Saturday mail will stop. Delivery of packages, mail-order medicines, Priority Mail, and Express Mail will continue. I am sure that I will get an official notice from the post office, but for now, it’s a bit confusing.

Just one generation ago, business communication was far simpler. There was postal mail, inter-office mail and voice mail. The first office I worked in didn’t even have voicemail. Little pink “While you were out” slips filled my cubby, which also doubled as a repository for internal memos and outside mail.

Our communication landscape has exploded with the addition of email, voicemail, text messaging, instant messaging, blog updates, wiki pages and intranet pages (just to name a few). If this is confusing for you, think about your sales reps. Have you properly educated reps about the benefits of the new forms of communication and how to appropriately use them? If best practices have been communicated, are you reinforcing them?

Here are some useful guidelines for communicating to and from sales reps:

  • Don’t add to the email deluge. Just because you can let everyone know about Hawaiian Shirt Day, does every remote salesperson need the memo? When reps are managing email, they are not selling.
  • Write clear communication recommendations. Inventory all the new ways your reps can communicate. Provide a simple guide that lists the benefits, how to use, when to use, when not to use and a few funny anecdotes. Remember, these are recommendations, not mandates.
  • Let content creators know there is a better way. Walk them through the rep communication guide provided by the sales enablement team. If the creators do not think reps are going to use new forms of communication, they will default to email as their primary channel. This is a good time to remind content creators that more is not necessarily better. The focus should be on creating and maintaining content that matters.
  • Let reps consume information at their own pace. If the information is significant to a rep’s selling success, add it to the rep’s sales force automation (SFA) main page. This information should be based on the rep’s role, products sold and geography. Keep this page simple and fresh with new information. Provide a way for reps to give feedback for future improvements. When possible, embed other communication tools within the rep’s SFA main page.

It doesn’t appear as if communication options will be reduced anytime soon, so the best thing to do is to appreciate the options and provide guidance. Otherwise, just like the junk mail that will not stop (it will just be delivered on a different day) the new communication options available to sales reps will fail to provide significant benefits.

Edge Coble

Edge Coble is Research Analyst, Sales Enablement Strategies, at SiriusDecisions. Throughout his 15 years of experience, Edge has focused on optimizing operational processes, improving personnel effectiveness, and implementing change management strategies to bridge the gap between sales and marketing teams. Follow Edge on Twitter @gecoble.

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